gutcheck and spellechecked.
DAUGHTERS OF THE CROSS
BY DANIEL C. EDDY.
"There are deeds which should not pass away, And names that must not wither."
We have in this volume brought together the names of several of our most distinguished female heroines, who have toiled and suffered on heathen soil. They have been gathered from different denominations and sects, and form a galaxy of names as dear to the heart of Christianity as can be drawn from the records of earth.
The object is, to give a series of brief memoirs, in which the lives of faithful Christians shall be unfolded; impart instruction in reference to the cause of missions; inspire the heart of the reader with Christian zeal; and do justice to the memory of those who deserve more honor than the fallen warrior and the titled senator.
Most of the subjects of these sketches are well known and well beloved—women whose deeds have been recorded in high places in denominational history; and we deem it no impropriety to take them down, unwind the peculiarity of sect, and weave these honored names in one sacred wreath, that we may dedicate it to all who love the cause of missions.
The wreath may wither and fall apart, but the flowers which compose it will not die; these sacred names shall live with immortal freshness while in the world is found a missionary church.
The Crusade.—Martin II.—Peter the Hermit.—Missionary Enterprise. —Andover.—The young Men.—Congregational Association.—American Board.—Harriet Atwood.—Bradford Academy.—Conversion.—Church in Haverhill.—Death of her Father.—Samuel Newell.—Marriage.—Sailing.—The Caravan.—Salem Harbor.—Calcutta,—Birth of the Babe,—Its Death.—Mrs. Newell dies
ANN H. JUDSON.
Bradford.—Ann Hasseltine.—Harriet Atwood.—Conversion.— Communion.—Marries Mr. Judson.—Sails for Calcutta.—Serampore.—Change of Views.—Baptism.—First Child.—First Conversion.—Trials and Suffering.—Judson's Imprisonment.—English Government.—Mrs. Judson dies.—Amherst.—The Hopia Tree
Park Street Church.—Ordination.—Charge.—The Corvo.—Church in Hadley.—Sermon.—Labor.—Death
HARRIET B. STEWART.
Sandwich Islands.—Opakakia.—Sabbath Scene.—Stamford, Connecticut. —Marriage.—Laihaina.—Death of Mrs. Stewart.—Church building at Waiakea
SARAH L. SMITH.
Syria.—Norwich, Connecticut.—John Robinson.—New Heart.—Mohegan Indians.—Brig George.—Malta.—Beyroot.—The Mediterranean.— Jerusalem.—Sickness.—Death.—Burial Service
Lake Pleasant.—Ojibwas.—Dong-Yahn.—Mr. Osgood.—Zuagaben Mountains.—Karens.—Rev. Mr. Stephens.—Church planted.—The Close
SARAH D. COMSTOCK.
The Burman Empire.—Brookline.—Baldwin Place Church.—Mr. Wade.—Dr. Wayland's Address.—Mrs. Sigourney.—The Cashmere.—Kyouk Phyoo.—Mr. Kincaid.—Six Men for Arracan.—"O Jesus, I do this for thee."—Last Illness.—Lowly Sepulchres
China.—Rev. Addison Hall.—Kilmarnock.—Virginia Revivals.— Baptism.—Death of her Mother.—Marriage to Mr. Shuck.—Sea Voyage.—Ah Loo.—Henrietta Layton.—Premonitions.—The End of Earth
SARAH B. JUDSON.
Alstead.—Dr. Bolles.—George D. Boardman.—Poem.—Discovery and subsequent union.—Calcutta.—Sarah Ann.—Robbery.—George.—Death of Sarah.—Ko Thah-byu.—Rebellion.—Boardman's Death.—Marriage to Mr. Judson.—Poems.—Death.—Ex Governor Briggs's Speech
MARY E. VAN LENNEP.
Rev. Dr. Hawes.—Childhood's happy Home.—Familiarity with the Bible.—Missionary Interest.—Sabbath Schools.—Seminary.—Dr. Fitch.—Longfellow.—Nature.—Mr. Van Lennep.—The union.—The Stamboul.—Smyrna.—The Dardanelles.—Constantinople.—Last Sickness.—Mr. Goodell.—Protestant Graveyard.—The American Ambassador.—The Watch of the Bosphorus.
HARRIET NEWELL, THE PROTO-MARTYR.
Several centuries ago, the idea of driving out of Jerusalem its infidel inhabitants was suggested to a mad ecclesiastic. A shorn and dehumanized monk of Picardy, who had performed many a journey to that fallen city, who had been mocked and derided there as a follower of the Nazarene, whose heart burned beneath the wrongs and indignities which had been so freely heaped upon the head of himself and his countrymen, determined to arouse a storm which should send its lightnings to gleam along the streets, and roll its deep thunder to shake the hills which in speechless majesty stand around the city of God.
Pope Martin II. entered into his daring scheme, convened a council of bishops and priests, and gave the sanction of the church to the wild enterprise. This council Peter addressed, and, with all the eloquence of a man inspired by a mighty project, depicted the wrongs and grievances of those who yearly sought, for holy purposes, the sepulchre wherein the Savior of man reposed after his crucifixion. He was successful in inspiring the people with his own wild enthusiasm. All Europe flew to arms; all ranks and conditions in life united in the pious work; youthful vigor and hoary weakness stood side by side; the cross was worn upon the shoulder and carried on banners; the watchword, "Deus Vult," burst from ten thousand lips; and the armies of Christendom precipitated themselves upon the holy land with the awful war cry, "God wills it," echoing from rank to rank.
In later times a mightier, nobler enterprise was originated, and the great system of American missions commenced. The object was a grand one, and awfully important. It contemplated, not the subjection of a narrow kingdom alone, but the complete overthrow of the dark empire of sin; not the elevation of a human king, an earthly monarch, but the enthronement of an insulted God, as the supreme object of human worship; not the possession of the damp, cold sepulchre in which Jesus reposed after his melancholy death, but the erection of his cross on every hillside, by every sea shore, in vale and glen, in city and in solitude. It was a noble design, one full of grandeur and glory, as far surpassing the crusade of Peter the Hermit as the noonday sun surpasses the dim star of evening. Its purpose was to obliterate the awful record of human sin, flash the rays of a divine illumination across a world of darkness, and send the electric thrill of a holy life throughout a universe of death.
At first, the missionary enterprise was looked upon as foolish and Utopian. Good men regarded it as utterly impracticable, and bad men condemned and denounced it as selfish and mercenary. The Christian church had not listened to the wail of a dying world as it echoed over land and ocean and sounded along our shores; she had not realized the great fact that every darkened tribe constitutes a part of the universal brotherhood of man; her heart had not been touched by the spirit of the great commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
But the sun which ushered in the present century dawned upon a missionary age and a missionary church. The tide of time has floated man down to a region of light, and the high and holy obligations which rest upon the ransomed of God are being recognized. The question is now asked, with deep and serious earnestness,—
"Shall we, whose souls are lighted By wisdom from on high, Shall we to man benighted The lamp of life deny?"
And the answer has been given. The church has felt, realized, and entered into her obligation. By the cross she has stood, her heart beating with kindly sympathy, her cheeks bathed in tears, and her lips vocal with prayer. The Macedonian cry has been heard, and from every nave, and alcove, and aisle, and altar of the great temple of Christianity has come the response,—
"Waft, waft, ye winds, the story, And you, ye waters, roll, Till, like a sea of glory, Light spreads from pole to pole."
In the early part of the year 1808 several young men, members of the Divinity School at Andover, became impressed with the importance of a mission to the heathen world. They first looked on the subject at a distance, saw its dim and shadowy outlines, prayed that their visions of a converted world might be realized, and wondered who would go forth the first heralds of salvation. Ere long the impression came that they were the men; and in two years the impression had deepened into a solemn conviction, and they had determined on a life of labor, tears, and sacrifice.
In 1810 they made known their plans to an association of Congregational ministers assembled in Bradford. Although that body of holy men had many fears and some doubts concerning the success of the enterprise, no attempt was made to dampen the ardor of the young brethren who were resolved to undertake the vast work. Many of the aged men composing that association thought they could discern in the fervor and zeal of these young apostles of missions the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. However many were their fears and doubts, they dared not, as they loved the cross, place a single obstacle in the way of the accomplishment of such a lofty purpose; and when the question was asked by the sceptic, "Who is sufficient for these things?" the awful response, "The sufficiency is of God," came up from many hearts.
This movement on the part of Messrs. Judson, Newell, Nott, and their associates, originated the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions—an organization which has its mission stations in almost every part of the world, and which is expending, annually, the sum of two hundred thousand dollars for the conversion of the heathen. The first missionaries sent out were those above named, who, with two others, were ordained to the work in the Tabernacle Church, in Salem, on the 6th of February, 1812. The ordination scene is said to have been one of peculiar solemnity. The spectacle was an unusual one, and a vast crowd collected together. The spacious church, though filled to overflowing with excited and interested people, was as silent as the chamber of death as instructions were given to the young men who were to bid adieu to home and country. On the 19th of February, a cold, severe day, the brig Caravan moved down the harbor of Salem on an outward-bound voyage, bearing on her decks Messrs. Judson and Newell, with their wives, the others having sailed from Philadelphia for Calcutta the day previous. They went, not as the conqueror goes, with fire and sword, flowing banners and waving plumes, but as the heralds of salvation, having the gospel of life and peace to proclaim in the ears of men who were strangers to its glory. To portray the character of one of these devoted female missionaries, the wife of Samuel Newell, this sketch will be devoted.
Harriet Atwood was born in the town of Haverhill, on the sloping banks of the winding Merrimack, on the 10th of October, 1793. She was the daughter of Moses Atwood, a merchant of that village, who was universally respected and beloved. Though not rich, he was generous and benevolent; he was pious without affectation, and in his heart cherished a longing desire to do good. Her mother, who yet lives, was a woman of strong religious principle, and well calculated to give right direction to the opening mind of her child. Her piety, it is said, was of that kind which makes its impression upon the heart and conscience, and leads the beholder to admire and love. She was a fit mother to train such a daughter for her holy mission to a world in ruins, and, by her judicious advice and counsel, lead on her child to that high point of mental and moral advancement from whence she could look abroad upon a fallen race and pity human woe.
Throughout life Harriet Newell bore the marks, and carried the impressions, of childhood and youth, and her short but brilliant career was moulded and fashioned by her missionary-hearted mother.
In 1805 she entered upon a course of study at the Bradford Academy, and soon distinguished herself as a quick and ready scholar. One of her fellow pupils remarks that "she seldom entered the recitation room unprepared. She seemed to take peculiar pains in doing things well; and though much of her time was spent in reading, her standing in her class was always more than respectable." Though but a child at this time, she kept a diary which would have done no discredit to a person of mature years, in which she recorded the exercises of her own mind and the progress which she made in mental discipline. The entries made in that diary give us an idea of the superiority of her mind and the excellency of her heart.
While at Bradford, her heart was renewed by the grace of God. During a revival which performed its holy work among the members of the school, she was led to view herself as a sinner against the Almighty. The awful fact that she must be born again uttered its solemn admonition. Though not so deeply convicted as are some persons, she felt the terrible necessity of regeneration. Reason, conscience, and Scripture proclaimed the same truth; and after struggling against her better feelings for a while, she yielded herself in sweet submission to the will of God. The account which she gives of her own exercises of mind, while in this condition, furnishes us with a view of her real character. Her religious experience was full of feelings and acts characteristic of herself; and we may form our opinion of her disposition and cast of mind from the peculiarity of her religious emotions. In extreme youth she was fond of gayety and mirth, and spent much time in dancing. According to her own account, she had but little remorse of conscience for her thoughtless course. The fact that such amusements were sinful, as well as dangerous, had never been impressed upon her mind. She deemed them consistent with the highest state of moral and religious enjoyment, and pursued the miserable phantom of human, earthly pleasure, until aroused by the Spirit and made sensible of sin.
From early youth she had been accustomed to revere and study the word of God and pray to her Father in heaven for the things which she needed. Her pious parents had impressed the lessons of virtue on her young heart, and she was accustomed, as she arose in the morning and rested her head at night, to commend the keeping of her body and soul to the care of an overruling, superintending Providence; but after commencing the practice of dancing, and beginning to attend schools where this vain practice was learned, she neglected the Bible, and thought but little of the place of prayer. She found, after retiring at evening from the gay and fascinating scenes of the dancing room, that prayer and meditation were dull and tedious exercises, and concluded to give them up. Closing the Bible, she laid it aside, and let it gather dust upon the shelf, while vain and trifling volumes engaged her attention. The door of her closet was closed, and she entered it not; and all thoughts of God were banished from her mind, while the world employed all her time. But God, who orders all things, was about to perform on her heart a work of mercy and grace. She was a chosen vessel to bear the name of Jesus to a land of darkness and despair.
When about thirteen years of age, she was sent by her parents to the Academy at Bradford, to receive a systematic course of instruction. Shortly after this a revival of religion commenced, and spread through the school, and many were converted. The attention of Miss Atwood was arrested and turned from vanity. "Must I be born again?" was the searching question which she put to her own heart. The answer came to her, and she began to seek the Savior. She seems not to have had deep conviction; her mind, though agitated, was not overwhelmed, and the subject was contemplated calmly. At length, with the melancholy fact that she was a sinner, and endless condemnation before her, she was pointed to the cross of Christ. The view was effectual. Jesus appeared the Savior of sinners, of whom she was one, and faith gladly laid hold on him as the way of escape from an awful death. A wonderful change took place: she lost her love of folly and sin; prayer was sweet again; the Bible was drawn from its resting-place and perused with new pleasure; from both Bible and closet she derived pleasure such as she had never before experienced; and she passed from a state of nature to a state of grace.
Writing to her friends while in this mood of mind, she is willing to admit that she has not had such an overwhelming view of the nature of sin as some have, nor of the ecstatic joy which some experience on conversion; but she had what was as good—a calm hope in the merits of a crucified Savior, a high estimate of religion and religious privileges, and an utter contempt for the pleasures and vanities of the world. She had a holy love for all things good, and was able to
"Read her title clear To mansions in the sky."
At the time when Miss Atwood found this sweet and precious hope, the church in Haverhill was in a low and languishing condition, disturbed by internal divisions, and to a great extent destitute of the influences of the Holy Spirit. In consequence of this state of the church she did not unite herself with it, and at that time made no open profession of religion. This neglect of a plain and obvious duty brought darkness upon her mind, and shrouded her soul in gloom. God withdrew his presence from his wayward and disobedient child, and left her in sadness: she had refused to confess her Master openly and publicly in the midst of trials and discouragements; and, grieved and wounded by her conduct, he turned from her, and hid his face. Then was she in the condition of the man who took into his own house seven spirits more wicked than himself. There was no rest for her soul, no relief for her anguished spirit. She realized how bitter a thing it is to depart from the counsel of her Maker, and found momentary comfort only in the forgetfulness of what she had enjoyed. At this period conscience was awake, and to drown its voice she plunged into sin, sought pleasure in all the departments of worldly intercourse, and thought as little as possible of God and sacred things. In this attempt to drive away serious inquiries she succeeded, and became as thoughtless as before her conversion. Again was the Bible laid aside, and the sickly novel and the wild romance substituted in its place. The closet was neglected, and she loved not to retire and commune with God. The flame of piety in her soul went out, and her heart was dark and sad; she fearfully realized the truth of the divine declaration, "The way of the transgressor is hard." In her diary she tells of sleepless nights and anxious days; of the Savior wounded by her whom he died to save; of the Spirit grieved, and almost quenched, yet lingering around her, now reproving, now commanding, now pleading; at one time holding up the terrors of a broken law, and then whispering in tones as sweet and gentle as Calvary; of conscience holding up a mirror in which she might discern the likeness of herself and contemplate her real moral character. Thoughts of God and holiness, of Christ and Calvary, made her gloomy and unhappy; and she entered the winding path of sin, that the celestial light might not burst upon her. Like other sinners, she sought happiness by forgetting what she was doing, and by an entire withdrawal from all scenes which could awaken in her soul emotions of contrition and repentance.
On the 28th of June, 1809, Miss Atwood listened to a discourse, which was the instrument, in the hands of God, of again prostrating her at the foot of the cross. Her carnal security gave way; her sins, her broken vows and pledges, rose up before her in startling numbers; her guilt hung over her like a dark mantle; she felt the awful pangs of remorse, and was induced to return to that kind and compassionate Savior who had at first forgiven all her faults. Peace was restored; the smile of God returned; and the bleeding heart, torn and wounded by sin, had rest.
While in her fifteenth year, the subject of this sketch was called upon to part with her father. What influence this sad event had upon her mind is hardly known; but that it was an occasion of deep and thrilling anguish cannot be doubted. Smarting under the hand of Providence, she writes letters to several of her friends, which abound in words of holy and pious resignation. The manner in which her sire departed, his calm exit from the sorrows of the flesh, served to give her a more lofty idea of the power of faith to sustain its subject in the hour of death. Though he had left nine fatherless children and a broken-hearted widow, there was to Harriet a melancholy pleasure in the idea that he had burst off the fetters of clay and ascended to the skies. Though on earth deprived of his companionship, his counsels, and his guidance, she looked forward to a meeting where parting scenes will not be found, and where the farewell word will never be spoken.
"There is a world above, Where parting is unknown, A long eternity of love, Formed for the good alone; And faith beholds the dying here Translated to that glorious sphere."
Nor had she a single doubt that her father had reached that world. She knew the sincerity, piety, and devotion of his life, and the sweet calmness of his death. His coffin, his shroud, his grave, his pale form were reposing in lonely silence beneath the bosom of the earth; but the spirit had departed on its journey of ages, and she doubted not its perfect felicity. As often as she repaired to the spot where he was interred, and kneeled by his tomb and breathed forth her humble supplications, she found the sweet assurance that beyond the grave she would see her earthly parent, and live with him forever. Though divided by the realms of space, faith carried her onward to the scenes of eternity and upward to the joys of heaven; and though she roamed on earth, shedding many a tear of sorrow, her spirit held communion with the spirit of her departed sire.
"While her silent steps were straying Lonely through night's deepening shade, Glory's brightest beams were playing Bound the happy Christian's head."
In October, 1810, an event occurred which gave direction to the whole life of Harriet Atwood. She became acquainted with Samuel Newell, one of the enthusiastic apostles of missions. He made her familiar with his plans and purposes, and asked her to accompany him as his colaborer and companion. Long had she prayed that she might be a source of good to her fellow-creatures; long had she labored to accomplish something for God and his holy cause; but the idea of leaving mother and friends, home and kindred, and going forth to preach salvation and tell of Jesus in wild and barbarous climes, was new and strange. To the whole matter she gave a careful and prayerful consideration. She divested the great subject as far as possible from all romantic drapery, and looked upon it in its true light. For a while her mind was in a state of perplexing doubt and fear, and the thought of leaving her own land was terrible. While considering the conflict in her mind, we should remember that the cause of missions was in its infancy; that no one had ever gone forth from our shores to preach salvation by grace in heathen countries; that those who were agitating the subject were branded as fanatics, and the cause itself was subject to unjust suspicions and contempt; consequently the subject had an importance and awfulness which it does not now possess. The way has been broken, and all good men acknowledge that the heroism of the missionary woman is grand and sublime. The decision made by Harriet Atwood was different from that made by others in after years, inasmuch as she had no example, no pattern. She realized that the advice of friends, biased as it was by prejudice and affection, could not be relied upon; and, driven to the throne of God, she wrestled there until her course of action was decided and her mind fixed intently upon the great work before her. Her resolution to go to India was assailed on every side. Those to whom she had been accustomed to look for advice and counsel, friends on whose judgment she had relied, shook their heads and gave decided tokens of disapprobation. But the question was finally settled. On one side were the gay world, her young associates, her kind relatives, her own care and comfort. On the other side stood a bleeding Savior and a dying world. To the question, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" she heard the response, "Go work to-day in my vineyard;" and when she looked forth upon the harvest, white for the reaper's hand, she hesitated not to consecrate on the altar of her God her services, her time, her life.
When this decision was once made, she conferred not with flesh and blood. Her reply was given to Mr. Newell in firm, decided language; and up to the hour when her spirit took its flight from earth to heaven, we have no evidence that she had one single regret that she had chosen a life of self-sacrifice. Her language was,—
"Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead, I'll follow where he goes."
Through duties and trials, through floods and flames, she passed, shrinking from no danger and shunning no sacrifice. Conscious of right, she quailed not before the tears of friends and the scorn of foes; but alike in duty and in danger followed the footsteps of her Savior, until her wasting body was decomposed and her spirit taken up to dwell with the just men made perfect.
To a friend in Beverly she writes as follows: "How can I go and leave those who have done so much for me, and who will be so sorry for my loss? How can I leave my mother here while oceans roll between us? How can I go with but little prospect of return? And how can I stay? We are under solemn obligation to labor for God; and I must go to India at any sacrifice. I owe something to my perishing fellow-men; I owe something to my Savior. He wept for men—he shed tears over Jerusalem.
'Did Christ o'er sinners weep? And shall our cheeks be dry?'"
At this time her letters to Mr. Newell breathe forth the most devoted missionary spirit, and exhibit her firm determination to do her highest duty and discharge her great mission at any sacrifice—at the cost of separation, tears, and death. And required it, think you, no effort to bring her mind into this godlike state? Cost it no toil to discipline the heart to such sore trials? Most certainly it demanded toil and effort; and many a visit to the cross was made, and many a view of the bleeding Savior obtained, ere she could turn her back on home and all that the young heart holds dear in this life, to labor and die far away over the rolling sea.
And we doubt if any other motive can be found so powerful as this to move the Christian heart to obedience. There is an inexpressible efficacy in the cross to bring all the various opposing elements into subjection, and produce order in the place of discord and opposition. With the cross the early disciples went forth, not as the crusaders went, with the sacred symbol on banners, and badges, and weapons, but wearing the spirit of the cross like a garment, having its doctrines engraven on the heart, and inspired and quickened into life by its mysterious energy. It was the cross that induced the early disciples to brave danger and death to spread abroad the new faith. The martyr at the stake, amid the curling flames, was supported by it; the exile from home, banished to rude and savage wilds, loved it; the prisoner in his chains, confined and scourged, tortured and bleeding, turned to it, and found satisfaction for all his wrongs; the laborer for God, amid wild men who had no sympathy for his vocation, carried the cross, and fainted not in his anxious toil.
And such was the effect of the cross on the mind of Mrs. Newell. It sent her forth in all the love of womanhood, and sustained her until the close of life, It produced on her the impression that it made upon the dreamer Bunyan, who saw it as he was escaping from the city of destruction. He came to it with a heavy heart and a burdened soul; but as he saw it the burden fell and rolled into the sepulchre, and his load was gone. He gazed with rapture and delight; and the tears burst forth and flowed down his cheeks, and joy and holy satisfaction filled his soul.
Here is the great moving motive, one which is above all others, one that is more effective than all others; and by this our heroine was animated and cheered in her missionary work.
Up to the time of her departure for India, the mind of Miss Atwood continued to be exercised with contending feelings. At one time the sacrifice, the toil, the labor, and self-denial of a missionary life would rise up before her. She would feel how great the trial must be to leave all the endeared scenes of youth and childhood, and go forth to toil, and perhaps die, among strangers in a strange land. Dark visions would often flit before her; and she felt how terrible it must be to sicken and expire on shores where no mother's kind hand could lift her anguished head nor smooth her fevered pillow. But at other times her spirit soared above the toil and sorrow, and dwelt with rapture upon the bliss, of seeing some of the poor, degraded heathen females converted to Christ. The glory of the great enterprise presented itself; and she realized the blessedness of those who leave father and mother, brother and sister, houses and land, for the promotion of the kingdom of Christ. From these various struggles she came forth purified, dead to the world, and alive unto Christ. Any sacrifice she was willing to make, any toil endure. It was her meat and drink to do the will of God and accomplish his work. After a full investigation of all the privations and sacrifices of a missionary life, after a solemn and prayerful estimate of all that was to be left behind and all that would be gained, she formed her opinion and decided to go forth. A feeble woman, just out of childhood, she linked her fate with an unpopular and scorned enterprise, and cast in her lot with the dark-browed daughters of India.
We have seen grand enterprises commenced and carried on; we have seen our fellow-men gathering imperishable laurels; but never before did the world witness so grand a spectacle, with so high an object to be accomplished by mortals, as was given in the departure of Harriet Newell to teach the lessons of Jesus in distant lands. We consider the career of Napoleon a glorious one. We cannot look upon his successful marches and battles, however much we disapprove his course, without something of admiration mingled with our abhorrence. There was a gorgeous glory which gathered around the character of that emperor of blood which hides his errors and dazzles the eyes of the beholder. But the true glory which gathered over that little band of missionaries, as they left the snow-covered, icebound coast of America, to find homes and graves in distant India, far outshines all the glitter of pomp and imperial splendor which ever shed its rays upon the brilliant successes of the monarch of France, the conqueror of Europe.
True, they went forth alone. No weeping church followed them to the water side; no crowded shore sent up its wail, or echoed forth the fervent prayer; but in the homes of the people, in the heart of God, these holy men and women were remembered. Had that beautiful hymn been composed for them, it could not have been more appropriate; and as they stood upon the deck of the wave-washed Caravan, it must have been the sentiments of all their hearts.
"Scenes of sacred grace and pleasure, Holy days and Sabbath bell, Richest, brightest, sweetest treasure, Can I say a last farewell? Can I leave you, Far in distant lands to dwell?
Yes, I hasten from you gladly— From the scenes I loved so well; Far away, ye billows, bear me; Lovely, native land, farewell! Pleased I leave thee, Far in heathen lands to dwell.
In the desert let me labor; On the mountain let me tell How he died—the blessed Savior— To redeem a world from hell; Let me hasten Far in heathen lands to dwell."
Miss Atwood was united in marriage to Mr. Newell on the 9th of February, 1812; and on the 19th the Caravan set sail, as before stated. The voyage to Calcutta, though attended with many things to render it unpleasant to a feeble American woman, was not a severe one. The weather most of the time was pleasant; and only occasionally did the waves sweep across the decks of the vessel, or flow through the windows into the cabin. Mrs. Newell spent her time in writing letters to her American friends and preparing herself for her missionary work. She now had leisure to examine her own heart and descend into the hidden mysteries of her soul; she had ample space to view the past and form plans for the future; she could try her motives by the unerring word of God, and, by humble prayer and careful meditation, be enabled to acquire strength which should prove equal to her trials. The cabin of a wave-tossed vessel, the loneliness of a voyage across the deep-green ocean, a separation from earth's homes and earth's hearts, were all calculated to lift up the pious mind, and centre the soul's best affections upon pure and worthy objects. Whatever of care and sorrow she might have had, however much or however little of anxiety might have filled her bosom, such circumstances were sufficient to bring her faith to the most severe test.
The voyage must have been severe but healthy discipline, and doubtless from it was learned many a lesson of grace and duty. As the snow-covered hills of her own dear home disappeared; as the tall chimney at the entrance of the harbor, from which the nightly flame burned forth a beacon to the mariner to guide him amid the storm, was lost in the distance; as the first night came on and darkness gathered over the wide waste of waters; as deep shadows fell upon the form of the plunging ship,—the missionary cause must have presented itself in a new light, and, to some extent, have been clothed with sombre hues. And as time rolled on and the distance from home increased, that sacred call of God, that holy mission on which she was employed, must have appealed more strongly to the Christ-like heart of our missionary sister. The vessel encountered storm and tempest, the usual inconveniences of a sea voyage were endured, and danger in a thousand threatening forms appeared; but the hand which formed the channels of the sea preserved his servants, and amid storm and darkness guided the vessel which bore them to homes and graves in the dark places of the earth.
On her passage, Mrs. Newell kept an interesting journal, not only of her own feelings, but also of the incidents that rendered the voyage pleasant or painful and checkered it with evil or good. And such incidents there are always. When on the ocean, far from land, for the first time, the dullest and most stupid mind cannot fail of being aroused to new and awful emotions. Man learns of God at such an hour, and finds new proof of his grandeur and glory in every dashing wave and every whistling blast. With but a single inch between him and a watery death, he gazes from his narrow deck upon the boundless expanse of tossing, foam-crested billows; while, as far as his eye can stretch, not a foot of land appears. His vessel may be on fire, she may fill with water, she may be riven by lightning; but there is no friendly sail to which wrecked man may fly and be safe. His ship will founder in mid ocean, while not a single form appears to lend the helping hand, and not an eye is seen flowing with tears of pity; nothing is heard but the moan of ocean; nothing is seen but the sweeping surge, as it passes on, leaving no track of the submerged vessel.
Confined in towns and cities, enclosed in walls of stone and brick, chained to the wheel of custom, the soul of man becomes contracted and dwarfed. All around are monuments of human skill, and every thing as little as the human mind. But when he steps beyond the crowds of life and embarks on the bosom of the ocean, he begins to see Divinity in its most awful forms. He realizes the insignificance of the creature and the majesty of the almighty Maker.
So felt Mrs. Newell, as she stood upon the deck of her vessel and gazed upon the wonders of the deep. Each wave, as it dashed against the sides of the brig or rolled across her decks, seemed impressed by the hand of God; and in these scenes she realized, more than ever before, the grandeur and glory of Jehovah. She saw him mirrored out in the starry canopy above her head, and in the liquid mountains which lifted up their forms, and anon sunk into peaceful rest beneath her feet.
On the 17th of June the Caravan reached Calcutta and anchored in the harbor. During the passage along the river the vessel was hailed by boatloads of naked natives, who brought on board cocoa nuts, bananas, and dates in great profusion; while others were seen on the banks reposing in the sun, or bathing in the waters of the Ganges, or diving beneath the surface for the shellfish which are found there; while beyond, the country was seen in all the beauty of verdure and delight, as ever and anon the Hindoo cottage and the white pagoda reared themselves amid the trees which grew upon the shoreside.
On the arrival of the missionaries at Calcutta, they repaired to the residence of Dr. Carey, where they found Mr. Marshman and Mr. Ward, all of whom were connected with the English Baptist mission station at Serampore. By invitation of Dr. Carey they visited the station, and were treated with the greatest kindness. But their hopes of usefulness were destined to be blasted. The East India Company was opposed to all attempts to Christianize the natives, and threw all their influence against the divine cause of missions. As soon as the government became apprised of the object of Mr. Newell and his associates, orders were issued for them to leave the country immediately. After a vast deal of parleying with the civil powers, permission was obtained to reside at the Isle of France; and on the 4th of August, 1812, Mr. and Mrs. Newell took passage on board the Gillespie for that place. Sorrow and distress now began to roll upon them in deep, sweeping waves. The crew of the vessel were profane and irreligious, the weather boisterous and unpleasant; while the spirits of the missionaries themselves were at a low ebb. For some time no progress was made, and the frown of Providence seemed to rest upon them. What purpose God had in view in surrounding them with such trials, they knew not; but with humble faith in all his allotments they bore submissively, but sadly, this new trial of their devotion. The delicate state of Mrs. Newell's health rendered their sorrows doubly annoying to her sensitive and refined mind. She shrunk from a contact with the rude beings around her, and in the society of her husband alone found enjoyment; and even this was not free from interruption. The morning and evening prayer was disturbed by the profane jest or the blasphemous ribaldry of God-hating men, who viewed our missionaries as deluded fanatics, justly deserving the contempt of all. Even the respect due to the weaker sex was not wholly observed; and the pious woman was often compelled to listen to expressions which would have brought a blush to the cheek of the strong man. Sickness and sorrow found but little sympathy; and the days seemed long and tedious, even to one who had not learned to complain of the wise discipline of a Father's hand.
While on this voyage, about three weeks before their arrival at the place of destination, she gave birth to a daughter, and became a mother. The sweet infant lived but five days; "blushed into life and died." The day before its death, the rite of the church, by which the little stranger into this cold world was given to God, was performed. They called her by the mother's name, and watched over her until she breathed her last breath upon her mother's bosom, and then sunk the form into the cold waters of the deep. As the corpse was lowered down over the side of the vessel, holy voices sung the sweet and tender hymn,—
"So fades the lovely, blooming flower, Frail, smiling solace of an hour; So soon our transient comforts fly, And pleasures only bloom to die."
Soon after the death of her babe, Mrs. Newell discovered symptoms of the malady which soon carried her to an untimely grave. From the first, she had no hope of recovery. Several of her friends had died of the same disease; and when it fastened itself upon her system, she knew that her time had come. The slow, wasting consumption was on her frame, and her days were nearly run out. But the approach of death she viewed with perfect composure. Though far from home, far from all the endeared scenes of youth, from the roof which sheltered her in infancy, from the mother whose gentle hand guided her up to womanhood, she was tranquil. Death was only a dark shadow, which retreated before her as she advanced, and left her standing in the light of a cloudless day.
While on her dying pillow she read through the book of Job, and derived from its hallowed counsels much divine support and comfort. While contemplating the sufferings of that godly man, her own trials dwindled away, and she lost sight of her own anguish in the deeper woes, of another. Often did she ask, as she remembered what others had endured and thought what trials some had experienced,—
"Shall I be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease, While others fought to win the prize, And sailed through bloody seas?"
Sometimes she wondered why she should be thus early taken away. She had left home and friends to labor for God in a heathen land; and why at the very onset he should call her to the grave, she could not understand. The great desire of her heart was to be the humble instrument in the conversion of sinners. She wished to win souls to Christ—to turn the attention of the dying heathen to the saving cross. Hence, when she found that, ere her work had fairly commenced, she was to be summoned away to her reward, torn from the arms of her husband, and removed beyond the province of toil, she failed to read the purpose of her Maker. All was gloom, and in calm submission she bowed her head to the coming storm. What was dark now she hoped to understand when the secrets of all hearts are known, and trusted that God was able to glorify himself as much in her death as in her life.
During her sickness she gave expression to the feelings of her heart, and proved to all around her that death had lost dominion over her; that the grave had secured no victory; and when she met the terrors of one and the silence of the other, it was as the conqueror meets his smitten foe. Her last words were, "How long, O Lord, how long?" and with this sentence on her lips she passed away.
Mrs. Newell died on Monday, the 30th of November, 1812, at the Isle of France, leaving her husband to labor alone for the conversion of the heathen. After the death of his wife Mr. Newell removed to Ceylon, and from thence to Bombay, where, after laboring a few years and doing his Master's work in tears and sorrow, he went down to his grave on the 17th of May, 1821.
The scene now closes. We have followed a devoted servant of Christ from youth to womanhood—from early childhood to an early grave. It is pleasant to contemplate such an example, to shed tears of gratitude over such a tomb. The name we pronounce deserves to be recorded in a more conspicuous place in the book of fame than any name which has gathered gory laurels on the wet field of carnage; she deserves a higher monument than rises over the resting-place of earth's proudest conqueror—a monument not of marble, nor of brass, nor of gold, but one which shall lift its summit until a halo of eternal light shall gather about it and gild it with the beams of glory. And such a monument she has. When the clouds and mists of earth are dissipated we shall see it, sinking its base deep as the darkness of a world of heathenism, and lifting its summit high as the throne of God.
Harriet Newell was the great proto-martyr of American missions. She fell wounded by death in the very vestibule of the sacred cause. Her memory belongs not to the body of men who sent her forth, not to the denomination to whose creed she had subscribed, but to the church—to the cause of missions. With the torch of Truth in her hand she led the way down into a valley of darkness, through which many have followed. Her work was short, her toil soon ended; but she fell, cheering, by her dying words and her high example, the missionaries of all coming time. She was the first, but not the only martyr. Heathen lands are dotted over with the graves of fallen Christians; missionary women sleep on almost every shore; and the bones of some are whitening in the fathomless depths of the ocean.
Never will the influence of the devoted woman whose life and death are here portrayed be estimated properly until the light of an eternal day shall shine on all the actions of men. We are to measure her glory, not by what she suffered, for others have suffered more than she did. But we must remember that she went out when the missionary enterprise was in its infancy—when even the best of men looked upon it with suspicion. The tide of opposition she dared to stem; and with no example, no predecessor from American shores, she went out to rend the veil of darkness which gathered over all the nations of the East.
Things have changed since then. Our missionaries go forth with the approval of all the good; and the odium which once attended such a life is swept away. It is to some extent a popular thing to be a missionary, although the work is still one of hardship and suffering. It is this fact which gathers such a splendor around the name of Harriet Newell, and invests her short, eventful life with such a charm. She went when no foot had trodden out the path, and was the first American missionary ever called to an eternal reward. While she slumbers in her grave, her name is mentioned with affection by a missionary church. And thus it should be. She has set us a glorious example; she has set an example to the church in every land and age; and her name will be mingled with the loved ones who are falling year by year; and if, when the glad millennium comes and the earth is converted to God, some crowns brighter than others shall be seen amid the throng of the ransomed, one of those crowns will be found upon the head of HARRIET NEWELL.
ANN H. JUDSON, OF BURMAH.
Notoriety is one thing, and true glory is quite another thing. Many persons have become notorious around whose lives no true glory or dignity has appeared; and many men have been honorable in the highest sense who have lived unknown to fame, and unheard of beyond a narrow boundary.
The world's estimate of glory is a false one. It attaches too much importance to physical force, to noisy pomp, to the glitter and show of conquest, and gives too little honor to the silent but majestic movements of moral heroes.
Had any body of men labored long and suffered much to save poor human life and draw from burning dwelling or sinking wreck some fellow-man, their deeds would be mentioned in every circle; humane societies would award them tokens of distinction and approbation; and they would be deemed worthy of exalted honor. Nor would it be wrong thus to give them praise. The man who risks his life to save another deserves a higher, prouder monument than ever lifted itself above the tombs of fallen warriors who on the gory field have slaughtered their thousands.
Nor will the deserved approbation of the great and good of earth long be withheld from the heralds of salvation on heathen shores. The majesty of the missionary enterprise is beginning to develop itself; success is crowning the toil of years; and heathendom is assuming a new aspect. Under the faithful labors of self-denying men, the wilderness is beginning to blossom as the rose. Here and there, amid the sands of the wide desert once parched by sin and consumed by the fiery blaze of heathenish cruelty, the plants of grace are beginning to appear, and Christian churches are springing up to spread themselves like green vines upon the broken ruins of demolished idols.
It is too late now in the world's history, too late in the progress of thought, to vindicate the course pursued by the two pioneer female missionaries. When the Caravan sailed down the harbor of the "City of Peace," there were enough to curl the lip and point the finger of scorn. The devoted messengers of Jesus were charged with indelicacy, with a false ambition, with a spirit of romance and adventure, with a desire for ease and gain. As time rolled on, all these charges were withdrawn; the characters, views, and feelings of these heroic women were raised above suspicion, and now they are enveloped in a flood of glory.
"They left not home to cross the briny sea With the proud conqueror's ambitious aim, To wrong the guiltless, to enslave the free, And win a bloodstained wreath of dreadful fame By deeds unworthy of the Christian name."
Their errand was to carry mercy to the perishing and hope to the despairing; and in the name of their great Master they executed their high commission. Depending alone on God, and inspired by his grace, they labored on, amid all the doubts and sneers of others, until their holy lives and correct deportment challenged the approbation of the most sceptical,—until God honored their work by great success,—until men, hardened men, began to yield.
"And by degrees the blessed fruits were seen In many a contrite and converted heart, Fruits which might cause unbidden tears to start From eyes unused to weep; because they told Faith was their polar star, and God's word their guide."
And future ages will honor them. When the names of Mary and Elizabeth, of Joan of Arc with her wild enthusiasm, of De Stael and her literary contemporaries, have all been lost, these will live as fresh as ever.
Ann H. Judson was born at Bradford, December 22, 1789. She was the daughter of John and Rebecca Hasseltine, worthy inhabitants of that pleasant village. Her childhood was passed within sight of the home which contained the friends, and around which clustered the employments and pursuits, of Harriet Newell. With only a narrow river rolling between them, these two devoted servants of God passed through the period of youth, little thinking how their names and fortunes were to be linked together in the holy cause of human good. Like her beloved associate, Miss Hasseltine was early in life a pupil at Bradford Academy, and made commendable progress in her studies. There she was beloved by all. The teachers regarded her as an industrious, dutiful, and talented scholar; her associates looked upon her as a sincere, openhearted, cheerful companion. Unlike Mrs. Newell, who was sedate and grave, exhibiting a seriousness almost beyond her years, Miss Hasseltine was ardent, gay, and active. She loved amusement and pleasure, and was found seeking enjoyment in all the avenues of virtuous life. One of her schoolmates, speaking of her, says, "Where Ann is, no one can be gloomy or unhappy. Her cheerful countenance, her sweet smile, her happy disposition, her keen wit, her lively conduct, never rude nor boisterous, will dispel the shades of care and hang the smiles of summer upon the sorrows of the coldest heart." Her animation gave life to all around her, and made her, at school, an unusual favorite; at home, the joy of her father's dwelling. It was probably this cheerfulness of her natural disposition which in after years enabled her to endure such protracted sufferings, and, by the side of her missionary husband, smile amid clanking fetters and gloomy dungeons. She loved to look upon the bright side of every picture, and seldom spent an hour in tears over any imaginary sorrow. On the front of evils she generally discerned signs of good; and often, while others were in sorrow, her heart was glad. Her sedate parents looked upon these exhibitions of cheerful disposition with some feelings of regret, and often chided their child for what they deemed an uneasy and restless spirit, little thinking that this very cheerfulness was to sustain her under many a trial which would have bowed others to the earth with crushed and broken spirits. God seemed to have adapted her to the very position in which he designed to place her; and her whole after career gave evidence of the wisdom of the divine arrangement. Had she been of different mould, she would have sunk ere half her work was done, ere half her toils were over.
While at Bradford Academy, Miss Hasseltine became a subject of renewing grace. Her own account of her conversion, found in her published memoir and elsewhere, is of the deepest and most thrilling interest to every pious heart. During the first sixteen years of her life, she, according to her own statement, had few convictions. She had been taught that she must be moral and virtuous, and in this way avoid suffering and secure peace of conscience. The awful necessity of being "born again" did not press itself upon her attention. Light and vain amusements engrossed much of her time, and employed many hours which should have been given to God and the practice of holiness. The prayers which she learned in youth were now forgotten, her Bible neglected, and her mind given up to vain and sinful pleasure. She did not realize that she was immortal; that she was a traveller to a long and unknown eternity; but the present hour, the present moment, received all her care and engrossed all her attention. From this state she was aroused by seeing in a little volume which she took up to read on Sabbath morning, just before going to the house of God, this solemn sentence: "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." The words sunk deep into her thoughtless heart. In vain she strove to banish them; but they would return upon her memory, and linger there with tormenting obstinacy. Vain was it that she mingled in scenes of gayety and mirth; vainly did she become "the gayest of the gay." The conviction became stronger, as each week rolled away, that she was a lost sinner. Under the influence of divine truth she continued to become more deeply impressed with the importance of giving her heart to God and being a new creature. She herself says, "I lost all relish for amusements; felt melancholy and dejected; and the solemn truth that I must obtain a new heart, or perish forever, lay with weight upon my mind." At length her feelings-became so overpowering that she could not confine them within her own bosom. God had rolled such a weight of conviction on her mind that she was almost crushed to the earth. How God could forgive her sins, she could not see. How one so guilty, so rebellious, so hardened, could obtain mercy, she did not know. Instead, at this time, of giving her heart to God, she resorted to other means to find relief from sin. She gave up many of the comforts of life, locked herself into her room, and spent many weary hours in self-imposed penance. Against the holy claims of God her heart soon rebelled, and she longed to be taken out of her misery.
At length she attained a more scriptural view of the way of salvation; she saw Christ as a vicarious sacrifice, and felt that, if saved at all, it must be by his blood, and not by her own imperfect righteousness. This view of Jesus was sweet and precious. He had become, not the Savior of the world, but her own Savior; he had died, not merely for the sins of the race, but for her sins; and in this sacred contemplation her soul found sweet relief. The torturing load of fears was gone; one sight of Christ had changed the heart and taken away its grief and sin. Like a liberated slave she rejoiced in perfect freedom, and her happy soul went out in joyful thanks to Him who had wrought the work.
With a heart changed by God, she seemed to pass from rapture to rapture, from bliss to bliss. Beneath the operations of grace her mind and her heart seemed to be enlarged, and to a wonderful extent she drank in the truth of the inspired word. Doctrines which until now had been all shrouded in darkness were readily comprehended. The great plan of salvation by the cross excited her wonder and admiration, and she loved to dwell upon it as the way in which she herself had been saved. All the energy of her soul seemed to be aroused to action. She was in a new world, inspired by new hopes, living a new life, a new creature.
The character of Miss Hasseltine's mind may be inferred from the nature of the books which, at this period of her experience, she read with the greatest eagerness. Instead of resorting to works of a superficial cast for instruction, she selected the profound dissertations of our most learned theologians, and read with much interest, as we are informed by her biographer, "the works of Edwards, Hopkins, Bellamy, and Doddridge." In the investigation of the deep and awful things of God she spent much of her time, and, with a humble desire to know the truth and obey it, sought wisdom from on high.
On the 14th of September, 1806, Miss Hasseltine made a public profession of religion, and connected herself with the Congregational church in Bradford, and for the first time partook with the company of believers of the broken emblems of a Savior's infinite compassion. The observance of this ordinance was full of blessing; at the table, according to her own testimony, she renewed her covenant with her Maker, and more solemnly than ever gave herself to the holy work of God. She felt how needful the assistance of a higher power was to keep her from the snares into which young Christians are so liable to fall.
After leaving the academy, Miss H. engaged as a teacher, and with considerable success employed herself in her vocation, in Haverhill, Salem, and Newbury. Teaching with her was not an ordinary employment; she remembered that her pupils had souls as well as bodies; and while she was striving to expand the youthful mind, she also endeavored to improve the youthful heart, and impress upon the conscience those lessons of truth which time could never efface. It was at the same conference in which the acquaintance between Mr. and Mrs. Newell commenced that Mr. Judson was introduced to the subject of this sketch. He was then in need of a companion who would share his anxieties, his labors, and his sorrows; and he fixed upon Miss Hasseltine as the one whose tastes and feelings most accorded with his own. He was probably attracted by her ardent piety, her brilliant intellect, and her joyous spirit. Having duly considered the subject, he gave her an invitation to go out with him to distant India, and be his companion in the brightest hour of his prosperity and in the darkest moment of his adversity. To decide the question was not an easy matter. It was connected with obligations which she did not hastily assume, and hence it was several months ere she had resolved to go. She was at times fearful that her disposition for what was in itself romantic and strange would bias her judgment and lead her to pursue a course which she should regret when too late to turn back. Hence she brought all her feelings and motives to a severe test, and looked down deeply into the hidden mystery of her heart. Before God she laid herself completely open, and sought, by humble supplication, his divine direction. With no example but that of Harriet Newell, who had just consecrated herself to the work, she decided to make India her home, and suffering and privation her lot. Her letters upon this subject, about this time, abound with passages of thrilling interest, and give evidence that the subject of missions absorbed her whole attention and pervaded her whole nature.
On the 5th of February, 1812, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were married at Bradford; on the 16th Mr. Judson and his associates were ordained in Salem, and on the 19th they sailed for Calcutta. While on the passage, a change occurred in the feelings and views of Mr. Judson which materially changed his whole course. He was aware that at Serampore the Baptists had established a mission station which was in successful operation. He knew that he should come in contact with the peculiar views of that denomination, and be under the necessity of replying to the objections which would be urged against his own sentiments. His own mind was at rest upon the subject; but he wished to be fully armed against all the arguments which he should meet on his arrival. To prepare himself for an encounter with Dr. Carey and his associates, he commenced the diligent study of the word of God and such works as he had in his possession. As he advanced in his investigation, doubts began to thicken around him; his mind, instead of being more fully convinced, began to waver; the arguments of Baptists he did not know how to overcome. Thus it continued for a while, until, a short time after their arrival, Mr. and Mrs. Judson threw aside their former views of baptism, and adopted the sentiments of another denomination. The particulars of this change are given by Mrs. Judson in a letter to her friends. By her we are informed that for a long time her husband's new notions did not correspond with her own. With woman's ingenuity and skill, she sought to dissuade him from any public statement, and even from an investigation of the subject. She well knew to what such a step would lead. The friends who had been so kind to her, who were then supporting her, who were willing still to support her, would be obliged to withdraw their aid. They could not, in conscience, support a missionary who was promulgating what they deemed an error, and consequently would recall her husband to America. Nor was this the worst. She had many personal friends who would be unable to appreciate her motives and understand her true position. They would be surprised, grieved, and perhaps offended. And to be encountered, was the odium of changing one's religious opinions, the charge of fickleness, and the consequent loss of reputation. Besides, the change, if made, would be a small one—simply a question of difference between the application to the body of a few drops of water and an entire immersion. This, to her mind, was a small change, which to her companion involved great consequences. Hence she endeavored to have him give up the subject and quiet his mind upon his previous opinions. Laughing, she told him, "if he became a Baptist, she would not." But the examination had been commenced, and could not be given up; and ere it was completed, she herself was a convert, That she was sincere, we have no room to doubt; by the change she had every thing to lose and nothing to gain. And it was made willingly, at last; when her judgment was convinced, she hesitated not.
The brethren at Serampore knew nothing of the change of views until they received a letter from Mr. Judson, asking baptism at their hands. That it was to them an occasion of gladness, we need not state. Weary with toil, they received this addition to their number as a gift of God, sent at this time to stay up their hands and encourage their hearts. It gave them new strength to meet the tide of opposition and bear up under the heavy load of missionary care and anxiety.
They were baptized on the 6th day of September, in the Baptist chapel at Calcutta, and shortly after Mr. Judson gave his reasons for the change in a sermon which has already passed through several editions, and which is regarded by his friends as a conclusive argument.
Whatever may be the opinion in regard to the correctness of Mr. J.'s new views,—whatever may be the views entertained of the denomination to which he united himself,—no godly man will regret the result to which it has led. His change aroused to action the slumbering energies of the whole Baptist section of our Zion, inspired that sect throughout the land with a new and holy impulse, and originated the convention, which now, under the name of the Missionary Union, is doing so much for a dying world. But for the change of Judson's sentiments upon the question of baptism, a denomination which is now contributing nearly two hundred thousand dollars annually for missionary purposes might have, stood aloof from the holy work for many years. The hand of God in this event is plainly seen—the hand of God, touching the heart of a mighty party, and animating it with a true, godlike missionary enthusiasm.
About the time of this change Mr. J. wrote a letter to Dr. Bolles, in which he threw himself upon the Baptists of America for support and sympathy. Previous to receiving a reply, he sailed with his companion for the Isle of France, at which place Mrs. Newell had been buried previous to their arrival. The desolate man met them on the shore, and with tearful eyes described to them the dying scene and the solitude of his own heart, Mr. Judson preached a while to the people and the soldiers who were stationed at the Isle of France, where he was the instrument of much good.
Providence did not favor his remaining at that place, and he left it for another field of labor, and at length, after many difficulties and hardships, arrived at Rangoon, in Burmah, in July, 1813. At this place several attempts had been made to establish a mission station, but all had failed; and the last missionary, a son of Dr. Carey, had departed a short time previous to the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Judson.
Our missionaries repaired to the house which Mr. C. had formerly occupied, about half a mile from the town. Mrs. Judson, being feeble, was borne upon the shoulders of the natives; and as she passed along, or as the bearers stopped to rest, a crowd of people gathered around her. Some came to her side and looked under her bonnet, and retired with boisterous merriment. But all their little annoyances she suffered with patience, knowing that here she was to find a home, and to these very people declare the word of God.
The manner in which they acquired a knowledge of the language is somewhat novel. They were unable to find any one who was acquainted with the English language, and were obliged to select an agreeable and pleasant Burman, who, to the best of his ability, instructed them in the principles of the language of his country. They would point to houses, and trees, and the various objects around them, and he would give their names in Burman. Thus after a while they were able to make themselves understood, and, being willing learners, they very soon made rapid progress—rapid, considering the discouragements under which they labored—being without both grammar and dictionary, or any other book which could materially assist them. Slow and discouraging indeed, compared with the labor of learning some other languages under different circumstances, was their advancement; but when the circumstances under which they commenced and prosecuted the task of learning the language of the Barman nation are considered, we should imagine that almost any progress was rapid.
On the 11th of September, 1815, their first child was born. They gave him the name of Roger Williams, in honor of one of the greatest advocates of human liberty which the world has ever raised. Eight months they loved him and watched over him, at the expiration of which he sickened and died. He was buried in the garden of the mission house; and the tears of the weeping parents, and a small company of kind-hearted but ignorant Burmans, watered the little grave, in the silence of which the infant had found repose.
For a few years after the arrival of Mr. Judson at Rangoon, the officers of government manifested towards the mission a friendly spirit. The missionaries were invited to visit the viceroy and vicereine at their royal residence, and received their visits in return. The mission was accomplishing the object of its establishment, and from time to time was reenforced. Even the bands of hostile robbers respected the property and persons of the men of God; and they fondly dreamed that it would thus continue.
In April, 1819, Mr. Judson commenced preaching the gospel in a building erected for the purpose, called a zayat. Until this time he had not attempted publicly to discourse after the manner of preaching in America. His audience consisted of twelve or fifteen adults, besides a large number of children. On the 27th of June, the first Burman convert was "buried with Christ by baptism." It was to the devoted Judson and his companions a day of pure and holy joy. The first fruits of their labors began to appear; and when Moung Nau went down into the water, a burst of gratitude went up from the deepest places of their hearts. The day was beautiful, the audience quiet and attentive, as there, beneath the very shadow of Gaudama, in the waters of a lake consecrated to the rites of heathenism, the new-born soul gave outward signs of the inward change. With what feelings of interest the missionary must have looked upon the first convert, we can only imagine. For that day he had waited and toiled for years; and as he pronounced the impressive formula, and in the name of the true God laid the dark son of India beneath the yielding waves, the feelings which rushed upon him must have been almost overpowering.
On the next Sabbath they sat down together at the communion table to celebrate the death of Christ—to commemorate the scene of Calvary. What a picture! The first offering of Burmah to the Lord; the first convert from that great empire, with his pale teacher, kneeling at the same altar, drinking of the same consecrated cup, and believing in "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." The second baptism was ministered on the same spot to two other converts. Amidst profound and holy stillness they descended into the water, where, a short time previous, Moung Nau had witnessed a good profession. The low and solemn tones of prayer were heard, the voice suppressed, in fear of arousing the ferocious enemy. There was no sermon, no address, no song; the record was on high, and angels looked down as spectators of the thrilling event. Around them, in earth's homes and in earth's hearts, there was no sympathy; but in heaven a chord was touched which will vibrate forever.
Shortly after the baptism of the two converts, opposition to the mission began to be manifested. Those who came to the mission house had evil in their hearts. To shield themselves from all harm, and secure the protection of the government, Mr. Judson and Mr. Coleman, who had been sent out in company with Mr. Wheelock a short time previous, determined to visit Ava and see the king. They did so, and with some difficulty obtained a hearing. They took with them the Bible, which was in six large volumes, decorated with gold, and well calculated to attract the attention of a heathen monarch. They were introduced into the palace and seated among the nobles. When the king appeared, the whole heathen throng prostrated themselves with their faces to the earth; the missionaries alone remained erect. After some conversation they presented their petition, and a tract on the being of God. The proud monarch read the petition through, and coldly handed it back to his minister. His eye then glanced over the little book; he read a single sentence, and then dashed it to the ground. Without ceremony they were hurried away from the palace, and, after various annoyances, were allowed to return to the friendly shelter of their boat. Sadly did they go back to the field of their labors to relate the story of their failure, and to toil on again until some new interruption.
Under the labors and sufferings incident to such a station, the health of Mrs. Judson began to fail rapidly, and it soon became evident that nothing but a visit to America would restore it. Consequently, in August, 1821, she started from Rangoon, and arrived in New York in September of the following year, spending some time in Calcutta and in England on her way. While in this country she accomplished a vast amount of good by her letters and conversation, and succeeded in inspiring the friends of missions with a deeper solicitude to see the heathen world converted to God.
In 1823, having regained her health, she returned to Burmah in company with Mr. and Mrs. Wade, who were sent out by the board to reenforce the mission. She arrived on the 5th of December, and found her husband in the midst of his toils and surrounded with disappointments and difficulties.
It soon become evident that Mrs. Judson had returned only to pass through scenes of unparalleled sufferings. On her arrival she found her husband about to leave for Ava, and immediately started with him. On the passage they encountered storms and dangers, and were, emphatically, in perils by sea and perils by land. While stopping at the town of Tsen-pyoo-kyon, about one hundred miles from the capital, they learned that the declaration of war had been made, and that the Burmans and English were at open hostilities. They reached Ava, and, without manifesting any fear or any interest in the hostile movements of the people, proceeded to build there a house and commence their operations. Soon the dreadful news came that the British had taken Rangoon. This catastrophe incensed the court at Ava, and Mr. Judson and Dr. Price were arrested as spies in the employ of England.
On the 8th of June, 1824, Mr. Judson was arrested at his own dinner table by a party of officers, led by an executioner whose power was absolute, and who held in his hand a black book, in which the names of his victims were recorded. With scarcely a moment's notice they threw him on the floor, and bound him with strong cords, and hurried him away. Mrs. Judson offered them money to release her husband; but they repulsed her with rudeness, and carried him, heedless of her tears and prayers, into the death prison, where he was loaded with three pairs of chains, and fastened to a long pole, to prevent the moving of his body.
In this trying situation Mrs. Judson returned, a lone, desolate woman, to her dwelling, and destroyed all her papers, journals, and writings of every description, lest they should be examined and found to contain something which would increase the sorrow of her husband. Her servants were taken from her and confined in stocks, and a guard placed about the house, who did their utmost to annoy and insult her. After some delay she procured permission to go abroad, and daily, at the prison gate, prayed that she might see the prisoners. Permission was at length given, and the fond wife sought her husband. She found his condition more deplorable than she had supposed. He was scarcely able to crawl to the door of his rude tenement; and while he stood in conference with the highminded and noble woman who had followed him beyond the seas, he was constantly annoyed by the suspicious and watchful keepers, who listened to their conversation and scrutinized every movement. So jealous were they, that, ere any arrangement could be made by which Mr. Judson's release might be effected, they were commanded to separate. In vain the wife urged her affection for her husband—in vain she appealed to manly feelings and love of home—in vain she exhibited the order of government by which she had been admitted—in vain she clung to the neck of her chained and suffering companion. No motive was strong enough to move the hard hearts of the cruel wretches, who seemed to take exquisite pleasure in the miseries of others. So completely does heathenism deaden the heart to all generous and elevated feelings that those strong men could witness unmoved, ay, with delight, the intense anguish of a feeble, weeping, broken-hearted woman. To every prayer she offered and every plea she made, they gave back words of cruelty and scorn; and when she entreated them, for the love of humanity, to allow her to converse with Mr. J. a few minutes longer, they refused; and as she hesitated, they cried, in angry tones, "Depart, or we will drag you out."
The admirable conduct of this heroic woman, under such trying circumstances, we cannot too much applaud. Ceaselessly she labored for the release of her husband. From one member of the royal family to another she went, with prayers that they would intercede in her behalf. Repulsed everywhere, she fainted not, but toiled night and day for the accomplishment of her purpose.
After about a month's confinement, Mr. J. was violently beset with fever, and the governor gave orders that he should be removed to a more comfortable situation. He was accordingly placed in a little bamboo hut, and his wife permitted to attend him. Here he remained three days, when the English advancing upon the capital, the order was given for the removal of the prisoners. They were hurried away without warning, and Mrs. Judson was left in a state bordering on distraction. She soon found, on inquiry, the direction which the prisoners had taken. With a single servant and two Burman children, she started, with her babe, three months old, in her arms, to find her companions in suffering. She overtook them at Oung-pen-la, and found their condition to be wretched beyond description. Their journey was over a rough, burning road, and, chained two by two, they were whipped along like cattle bound to the place of slaughter. Their backs were blistered by the sun, and their feet scorched by the ground, until every step they took drew forth a groan of anguish, which their drivers answered with yells of delight. One poor creature fell in the pathway, and was dragged along until he expired.
To add to Mrs. Judson's distress, her assistant was taken with the small pox the morning after she arrived at Oung-pen-la; and soon her daughter Maria was reduced to the point of death by the same disease, and she herself was afflicted with the malady in a modified form.
The prisoners had been sent to this place that they might be burned in the old prison, in which, from the time of their arrival, they were confined, being chained together in pairs. But God had otherwise ordained: Judson was to live on. Soon an order for his release and return to Ava came; the government hoping he might be of service to them in their difficulties with the British. He was employed as interpreter and translator, and, as such, treated with some degree of kindness.
Wearied with continued anxiety, Mrs. Judson was prostrated by sickness soon after her return to Ava. Reason fled away; insanity took the place of calm and deliberate action; and for seventeen days she was a raving maniac. Absent from her husband, and dependent on the cold mercy of heathen women, she was indeed an object of pity. But from the borders of the grave she was raised up when all around thought her beyond the reach of hope. The hand of God reached down to the borders of the grave and rescued her from death, and placed her upon earth again, a fruitful laborer in the vineyard of her Master.
Time and space will not permit us to follow these devoted missionaries through all the suffering caused by this distressing war. Mr. Judson acted as mediator between the English and the Burmans, and by his ingenuity and skill, his eloquence and experience, saved a vast amount of bloodshed and crime. He was the instrument in securing the release of all the English and American prisoners who were confined in the dungeons of Ava, and restoring some from hopeless servitude to the friends and companions of youth. He conferred immense advantage on England, while he saved the capital of the vast Burman empire from fire and sword. To him, more than to any other man, is to be traced the amicable adjustment of the existing difficulties, and the settlement of the trouble on terms so favorable to the English residents of Ava.
One of the articles of the treaty then entered into provided that all the foreigners at Ava should have permission to leave unmolested. Mr. and Mrs. Judson availed themselves of this permission, and, on a beautiful evening in March, left with their fellow-workers and fellow-sufferers, and sailed down the Irrawaddy, bidding farewell to the golden city within whose walls they had suffered so much and been sustained by God so long.
Nor was Mr. Judson the only one who won praise and glory during that awful period. The companion of his toils was not idle. Her kindness to the prisoners—her arduous labors to do them good—her appeals to the government—her visits to the nobles—her ceaseless efforts—won for her undissembled gratitude and immortal renown. Nor are the acts of Mrs. Judson recorded alone on the records of Christian missions. The secular press of our own and other lands ascribed to her the honor of materially assisting in the adjustment of the existing difficulties, and, by her appeals and persuasions, doing much to prevent bloodshed and crime.
She went where no person of the other sex would have dared to go, and where, to any woman of less devotion and tireless perseverance, all entrance would have been denied. Though her husband, at this trying time, was the object of her peculiar care, yet she found time to do good to all the other prisoners. Like a ministering angel she moved among them, giving drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and clothing to the destitute.
A statement was drawn up by an English prisoner, and published in Calcutta and in England, in which the thanks of the prisoners are given to this estimable woman. The writer dwells upon the theme with the interest of one who has experienced acts of kindness and is himself under obligation. He ascribes to her, a feeble woman, the honor of having, under God, prepared the Burman empire to seek terms of reconciliation and peace. From a full heart he utters the tribute of his gratitude to the frail child of humanity who forgot her own weariness, forgot her own sufferings, forgot her own privations, sickness, and want, and sought out the wants of the victims of imperial despotism.
Her daily walk was from the prison to the palace. To one place she went to whisper words of kindness, to wipe away the tears of sorrow, to wet the parched lips of the dying with cool water, to bathe the limbs bruised and chafed by heavy irons, and to apply healing balm to both body and spirit; the other place she visited to plead and argue with a proud court, and a haughty, tyrannical, and overbearing monarch. She risked her own life at every trial, but ceased not her perilous work until God crowned her labors with success—until the stubborn court of Ava relented—until she saw the fetters fall, and the prisoners again at liberty. The English nation owes her a debt of gratitude; for she has done more for it than many of its most illustrious warriors. Humanity is a debtor to her memory; for she was kind to man, and, in his want and suffering, surpassed humanity to do him good. Religion is her debtor; for she was one of its most devoted advocates, and presented in her life a sublime illustration of the power of faith. From Ava Mr. and Mrs. Judson removed to Amherst, a town which was founded at the close of the war in that territory, and which, by the treaty, was ceded to the English. It was at Amherst that Mrs. Judson was visited with the fatal fever which terminated her existence on the 24th of October, 1826.
At the time of her death Mr. Judson was absent from home, in company with Mr. Crawford, the British commissioner. Her sickness was short and painful. During most of the time her reason was dethroned; but in her moments of calmness she gave evidence that all was peace. Without the hand of her kind companion to lift her aching head, or bathe her throbbing temples, she died.
Mr. Judson returned, not to hear her voice, not to gaze upon her form, but to weep over her grave, and with his motherless child to sit in sorrow on the spot where she breathed her last. Such was the violence of her fever that she said but little, and left her husband without many of those tokens of kindness which surviving friends esteem of so much value.
They buried her at Amherst, under the shadow of a lofty hopia tree; and in that lonely grave her form now reposes, heedless of what is passing on the earth. Her child, which died shortly after she was buried, is laid by her side; and on the sacred spot the traveller often pauses to think of one of the most devoted and self-sacrificing women whose names have been mentioned with gratitude by the virtuous and the good. A marble slab, presented by the ladies of America, marks the grave, and points it out to every stranger. On that slab is an inscription, a copy of which is on the opposite page.
Here we pause. Such labors, such self-sacrifice, such sufferings need no tongue to speak their merits. The worth of Mrs. Judson is engraved upon the hearts of all who claim the Christian character. For her works' sake she is beloved; and as long as the church endures, she will be remembered by all its members. Like Mrs. Newell, her fame belongs
ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
ANN H. JUDSON,
Baptist General Convention in the United States
She was born at Bradford,
In the State of Massachusetts, North America,
December 22, 1789.
She arrived with her husband at Rangoon
In July, 1813,
And there commenced those
Which she sustained with such
Christian fortitude, decision, and perseverance,
Amid scenes of
Civil commotion and personal affliction,
As won for her
Universal respect and affection.
She died at
Amherst, October 24, 1826.]
not to one sect or party, but to all who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like her she went out when but few were ready to bid her "God speed" or bestow their money for her support.
On the record of American missions we find the name of no female who endured so much, who sacrificed so much, who accomplished so much. She fell not when the first notes of the great enterprise were ringing on her ears; but she made her grave amid the strife and confusion of the battle. She lived long enough to see the fruits of missions—to gaze upon the converts as they descended, one by one, into the baptismal wave—to see a door opened wide enough to admit laborers from every department of the Christian church. She mourned not, as did her sister martyr, that she was cut down ere she had labored for God and seen the happy result. They were born within sight of each other, in pleasant valleys, on the borders of the silvery stream. They met the companions of their missionary toils at the same time, and within a few days of each other decided to become the first heroines of the missionary church. Together they sailed—as precious a cargo as ever was tossed on the billowy sea. Together they landed on heathen soil, with high hopes of doing good. But, though united in their lives, they were divided in their deaths. Mrs. Judson lived on more than a half score of useful years beyond her companion; and if life is to be measured, not by the number of days and years, but by what is accomplished in it, or what is suffered during its lapse, then she lived ages—ay, ages of suffering, ages of labor, ages of virtue and piety—after Mrs. Newell had descended to her grave.